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Basic Definitions and Etymology (Roots) of the Word ~syndicate. Syndicates are formed for legal OR illegal purposes. Know the Difference! (Recent context, My USDOJ Tobacco RICO post + Others’ Lasker Syndicate references) [From 8/26, Publ. 10/3/2017]

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Basic Definitions and Etymology (Roots) of the word ~syndicate. Syndicates can be formed for legal OR illegal purposes. Know the Difference! (8/26/2017)

@ Early October 2017: I’ve been busy the second half of September, first with handling personal writing necessities (for my own situation which continues to develop new twists and turns over time) and worked a good while on completing the 2017 Table of Contents for this blog and updating the pages referencing it.

Now, having handled those tasks, or at least made my intents clear (as to the personal situation) to avoid being kicked further down a certain dead-end road (as has been attempted towards me also, over time), I am starting to publish several posts left in the pipeline during that time.  Because of the two-week delay, during which other major, national events, and some family court reform activities are being publicized and moving down their “pipelines” too, the points of reference here back to subject matter on the anti-tobacco movements as it works through federal agencies and was promoted by specific private wealth with a cause..may seem odd…..There have been horribly destructive hurricanes, debates and complaints re: FEMA’s help getting to a devastated Puerto Rico and the largest mass-shooting in US history at a concert venue in Nevada, police indicating the shooter is a 64-year-old white guy without a criminal history, is still raw and  headline news.

However, here, the concept of “syndicate” is universal, and whether it’s health, news, or anything else, we should be aware of the basic definition and common usages, for better concepts where legal and valid syndicates may stray from legal OR valid.

Syndicates in any field are not to be lightly ignored, and are, through organization and the use of technology (i.e., electronic communications/ media) redefining what is and is not “local.”

Some posts in the short-term writing pipeline need more updating than others.  This post is fairly self-contained, didn’t really need fixing or expanding, and will be the first up.

This short post reminds us of the basic definitions (not necessarily legal definitions, if there are any) of “syndicate” and some of its usages.  Reviewing these should help also (hopefully) put readers at rest when they hear possibly discomforting, and less than complimentary references or quotes (in earlier posts herein) from “smokershistory.com” talking about the “Lasker syndicate.”  I see that even government websites on the history of the National Cancer Institute (Mary Lasker Papers, Mike Gorman Papers) and even some on-line books (see next image), document the appropriateness of the terminology, while not exactly featuring the word “syndicate” as a label because of its potentially negative connotations, i.e., “crime syndicate.”  (This next image is repeated below, click either one to enlarge):

Gov’t and Public Health in America (excerpt of footnotes referencing Mary Lasker influence), book by Ronald Harnowy.

This post, in its current, longer title (but with the same underlying shortlink), which adds the blogging context and references start and publication dates:

Basic Definitions and Etymology (Roots) of the Word ~syndicate. Syndicates are formed for legal OR illegal purposes. Know the Difference! (Recent context, My USDOJ Tobacco RICO post + Others’ Lasker Syndicate references) [From 8/26, Publ. 10/3/2017] (shortlink ends “-7vi” Both links above are the same, though their labels differ some).

Moved here from this post, but typed much earlier, while I try to wrangle this one into publish-able form:  USDOJ Tobacco RICO (Civil Suit) Intervenor NAATPN, Inc (2000ff, Total Current Assets, $0) and Caffee, Caffee and Associates PHF, Inc. (HattiesburgMS, 2003ff, Total Assets $0) — and trying to squeeze a California Network into that recipe. (shortlink ends “-7rm” post material moved here 8/15/2017)

I’m fairly sure the Tobacco Cessation networks qualify, now that I’ve spent another week (and more) reviewing tax returns of member / component organizations and noticing who sits on which inter-related boards, while some of the component and featured nonprofits are looking more and more like front groups, or at least “stooges” for continuing to repeat the same rhetoric year after year, failing to post their own tax returns, and when those are dug up (such as exist), revealing a casual disrespect for the norms of language, basic math (addition and subtraction), accounting practices (like taking a number reached in one part of the turn and having corresponding other parts actually match, carrying forward End of Year balance from one year and posting it as “Beginning of Year” Balance the following years; distinguishing balance sheet from expense and revenues, posting credible figures in the first place, and correctly labeling the hundred-thousand-dollar beneficiary federal agency…  For starters.  ((That paragraph and what’s below is ca. 8/15/2017//LGH))


Investopedia Definition (I selected just three, nonconsecutive paragraphs here):

What is a ‘Syndicate’

A syndicate is a temporary professional financial services group formed for the purpose of handling a large transaction that would be hard or impossible for the entities involved to handle individually. Syndication allows companies to pool their resources and share risks. There are several different types of syndicates, including underwriting syndicates, banking syndicates and insurance syndicates. ….

Examples of Syndicates

Companies may form a syndicate for a specific business venture that carries a high level of risk but also an attractive potential rate of return. In many cases, these businesses operate in the same industry and form a separate entity to apply their expertise to a product or service. Two drug companies, for example, may combine research and marketing knowledge to create a syndicate and develop a new drug. A large real estate project may be developed using a syndicate formed by several real estate companies. ….

How Companies Combine Available Expertise

Some projects are so large that no single company has all of the expertise needed to efficiently complete the project. This is often the case with large construction projects, such as a stadium, highway or railroad project. Companies form a syndicate so that each firm can apply a specific area of expertise to the project. In addition, subcontractors are assigned specific components of the project, such as lighting or concrete work. Each subcontractor obtains financing for its portion of the contract.**

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Regarding that last paragraph, by now we should be well aware that the public is often made part of such “syndicates” in “public/private partnerships” involving public funds.  That’s why it’s important to keep such vast projects on the honest, non-criminal side of the ledger, including when science and scientific experts are used to justify the project.

Unfortunately some projects are so large they are going to be by nature violating jurisdiction, authorized use of public funds, and INFORMED consent of the public.  When such projects are so large, they had better darned well be legitimate, and legitimately executed.  The more tax-exempt organizations are involved in any such project (as well as many types of organizations) and the more federal funding involved, the greater the likelihood for corrupt interests to get involved, and plan well ahead (years, or decades) for the eventual payoffs.

Unfortunately, from an individual’s perspective, and from mine over the years, the more I look into almost ANYTHING associated with the largest grantmaking agency, HHS, the less integrity at the grants level (let alone the contracts) I find, and the same goes for organizations large AND small dealing with the public issues.

Basic dictionary definitions of “Syndicate,” two images from “CambridgeDictionaries.com” (which has a simplified version for Americans, a more complex one for “English”!), and another two from (a single page in) the Oxford English Dictionary  Notice the Oxford  image (verb definition) is “Control or manage by a syndicate.” Click any image to enlarge as needed.

OxfordDictionaries.com definition (in 2 images, #2 is for the verb)

Cambridge Dictionary © Cambridge Univ. Press

Cambridge dictionary © Cambridge Univ. Press

Syndicate (verb), defined, from OXFORD Dictionary



And I like to check “Online Etymology Dictionary” which shows, generally, when the term came into use (and with which meanings) plus, sometimes a more direct way to understanding the concept — meaning of the Greek, Latin, or other, root words and prefixes, in which case: “syn” = together, and “dike” relates to judgment:     from Greek syndikos “public advocate,” as an adjective, “belonging jointly to,” from syn- “together” (see syn-) + dike “judgment, justice, usage, custom

Notice when the usage referring to “the Mob” came up..


I, and the website smokershistory.com, am not the only person calling attention to the (I say) disproportionate role played by an advertising agency magnate’s heiress, art collector, associate of Presidents, and well-connected, not just well-funded Mary Lasker played regarding the direction of the National Institutes of Health, and the direction of medical research within the United States.

From a Google Book I just purchased (because of its detailed history, footnoted, of the federal health agencies), the red- and olive-green background callouts make a similar point.  The basic search term which brought up this book was “Lasker syndicate.”  The word “syndicate” occurs in Footnote 143 cite, referencing a 1967 Atlantic Monthly article on “The Health Syndicate.”

Gov’t and Public Health in America (excerpt of footnotes referencing Mary Lasker influence), book by Ronald Harnowy.

From a different book, “The Dance of Legislation” (which also referenced the Atlantic article) describing not specifically health legislation or agencies, but how a bill gets passed in the Senate, still found time to reference a key figure, Mike Gorman, whose success was based in part on his anonymity to the public — and as a “Mary Lasker employee.”  Notice the reference also to Paul Rogers (key figure in Research! America, a Whitehead-involved, Lasker-Foundation-funded nonprofit established in 1989.  However, by 1989, I’m learning, the vast expansion of NIH (as prodded in great part by the same individuals) was well under way.   Google books don’t make for good images, but these give an idea:

Looking up the bill, I found a Year 2000 listing at University of Washington Press; which says this book was published in 2000, not ‘August 2011″ per:

ERIC REDMAN was a logger, longshoreman, Rhodes Scholar, and writing teacher, as well as a legislative aide. Today he is a Seattle attorney specializing in public policy and energy law. RICHARD E. NEUSTADT [[who wrote the foreword to this version]] is Douglas Dillon Professor of Government emeritus, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

The Dance of Legislation reads like a suspense novel: will a much-needed program of medical care for the ghettos, and for isolated rural areas, make it through the Congressional maze? Eric Redman . . . makes us feel the drama of the democratic process- the comedy, the grief, the moments of despair and triumph which he experienced in the course of a year on Capitol Hill.”
– Harry McPherson, author of A Political Education

Link re: S.4016 as an enrolled bill from “GovTrack.us” (and its full text):

S. 4106 (91st): An Act to amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize the assignment of commissioned officers of the Public …… Health Service to areas with critical medical manpower shortages, to encourage health personnel to practice in areas where shortages of such personnel exist, and for other purposes.

(Dec. 31, 1970, 91st Congress…)(Emergency Health Personnel Act of 1970, PUBLIC LAW 91-623 [Sec. 329 being quoted])

Link to S.4106 National Health Service Bill from “Library.CQPress.Com” describes and puts a date on it (next image also). It established (named) the Health Service Corps and tasked the Secretary of (then) HEW to keep track of poverty-stricken and medically underserved areas, and assign workers, as well as designated funds for it ($40M in the second year).  This was the sample legislation “Dance of Legislation” book, above, decided to track.

Citation to the image:  “Health Service Corps.” In CQ Almanac 1972, 28th ed., 03-949-03-950. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1973. http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/cqal72-1249643.&#8221; My quotation from the bottom of this source, takes it from the bottom, starting at “House Action”  portion.  Click link to read Senate Action and more on “Provisions.”

HealthService Corps described (S 4106 -cf Dance of Legislatn Eric Redman Aug 2011 book) Screen Shot 2017Oct03 at 4.27PM

House Action

Committee. The House Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee Oct. 9 reported a bill (HR 16755—H Rept 92–1547) to improve medical assistance programs for areas with health manpower shortages. The committee’s Public Health and Environment Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill on Sept. 28. As reported, the bill was similar to the Senate-passed bill, except that the House measure authorized a total of only $30-million ($25-million for the health corps in fiscal 1974 and $2-million in fiscal 1973 and $3-million in fiscal 1974 for scholarship training programs), compared to the Senate’s $92.3-million ($30-million in fiscal 1974 and $40-million in fiscal 1975 for the corps and $10.8-million in fiscal 1974 and $11.5-million in fiscal 1975 for scholarships).

Floor. The House Oct. 13 adopted a motion to suspend the rules and pass HR 16755 (a two-thirds vote was required for passage). Both actions came by voice vote.

During a brief debate, Paul G. Rogers (D Fla.), chairman of the Public Health and Environment Subcommittee, said the bill was “one of the most important bills to pass out of the subcommittee” during the second session.

Following passage, the House by voice vote substituted the language of HR 16755 into S 3858, the companion Senate bill. The amended S 3858 was then passed by voice vote and HR 16755 was tabled.

Back to Top

Final Action

Senate. The Senate by voice vote Oct. 17 adopted a new amendment to the bill to permit the secretary of HEW to collect for services performed by the health corps under whatever method would be most effective. The proposal was sponsored by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D Mass.), chairman of the Senate Health Subcommittee. Another amendment accepted by the Senate gave state and local officials the authority to veto plans by the Department of HEW to close or transfer a public health service hospital or clinic.

House. The House Oct. 17 by voice vote agreed to accept the Senate amendment to permit the secretary of HEW to collect for health corps services by the most effective method. The House disagreed to the amendment giving state and local officials authority to veto HEW plans to close or transfer public health service hospitals.

Senate. Following the Oct. 17 House action on the Senate amendments, the Senate by voice vote agreed to withdraw the amendment to which the House disagreed. The Senate’s action cleared the bill for the President, who signed it Oct. 27 despite the administration’s previously stated opposition.


Two excerpts from the above book also contain a tinyurl link to it: “DanceofLegislatn-Lasker

(sentence at bottom cont’d. in next image/page)

(2nd image from “Dance of Legislation” excerpts)

Here, the question comes up for the “Lasker syndicate,” assuming it is one, to control WHAT? and the most obvious answer includes the direction of biomedical research, and a major section of a US federal agency (the NIH), as well as sponsored university center and independent (but affiliated with universities) nonprofit institutions, such as Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT, and elsewhere.

I didn’t personally recognize the name Mike Gorman, but in case there is any question of how much influence Lasker (and her friend Florence Mahoney, with connections to newspapers in Miami) played in the development of his career, apart from the Lasker Awards and overall sponsorship, there are under the NIH/ULM (United States Library of Medicine) some Mike Gorman Papers, too.  You can see that certain names continue to come up in these circles (such as “Fogarty,” who in my last post, came up when Research! America’s Mary Woolley was featured in a Q&A session posted at the NIH “Fogarty International Center…” (correct exact name as needed).  Athough his initial journalistic break had to do with covering the psychiatric hospitals in Oklahoma and re: (what I’m assuming later became “NAMI,” but that should be verified) re: the “National Committee on Mental Health,” I think the next images give the general concept well enough:

https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/TG/p-nid/102  (an excerpt from that page):

https://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/TG/p-nid/104/p-docs/true (view any of the pages from the main page; it’s well-linked in the table of contents).


Ultimately, these apparently disparate groups moving in apparent consensus control definitions of health and disease resulting in direction of public funding to prevent, control, or eradicate certain diseases.

If and when the funders and sponsors are in well-hidden conflict of interest collectively in control of the means to control public money and the public, that is a danger zone.  The existence of a coordinated, synchronized, orchestrated set of participants of which government is such a major part, but the ownership of so many of the “players” are privately controlled, and widely distributed, then we are moving in on whether or not this syndicate’s purpose is as beneficial as the parts which DO identify themselves claim to be.

Basic understanding of the word “syndicate” and awareness it can be used for both legal and illegal purposes is vital.

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